Beware all ye who enter here: This post CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS for Logan and the graphic novel Old Man Logan. Don't read on if you don't want to know.
Sometimes, movies end up having a very different tone than the one established in the trailers and promo material (cough cough, Suicide Squad, cough cough). But #Logan — 20th Century Fox's shiny new instalment in their X-Men series —proved to be exactly the dark, brutal, and touching outing we were hoping for.
Logan is Hugh Jackman's last hurrah as fan favorite #Wolverine/Logan, ending his 17 year run as the character which began in 2000's X-Men. Another character who made his debut at that same time was Professor X/Charles Xavier, the powerful telepath and leader of the X-Men, portrayed in equally excellent measure by legendary British stage and screen actor Patrick Stewart.
And Logan appears to be the last we'll see of Stewart's Professor X too, as Xavier was killed off (for the second time) in the perhaps the most affecting death we've seen in 20th Century Fox's #XMen Universe yet. To top it off, Stewart has said that as Jackman has now hung up his claws, he plans to follow suit, bowing out in the blaze of critical glory that was Logan.
Of course, he has already been replaced in the wider universe by James McAvoy's younger iteration of the same character, who operates at an earlier point in the same timeline. Thus, when we see #ProfessorX again, it's likely that he won't be the older version we've come to love through Stewart's performance.
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But though this may be saddening, as it was with Wolverine, killing off Professor X here was the right move. If you've seen Logan, you'll know by now the circumstances surrounding how #Xavier came to be half-delirious, hidden in a remote silo by Logan and Caliban (Stephen Merchant). It's revealed through a number of fairly subtle scenes that Professor X had developed a brain disease that, coupled with the incredible power of his mutant mind, caused the Westchester Incident — a terrible accident which killed and injured many people, including several of the X-Men.
It's a dagger in the heart to Xavier's characterization, but an excellent twist. Drama is created when you take a character and force something to happen to them which runs contrary to everything which makes up who they are. This can happen through characters making wrong decisions at the wrong time, but also by external forces acting on them beyond their control. Writers are often told, "What is the worst thing that could possibly happen to this character? Make that thing happen." Such was the case for Professor X in Logan.
If you've read Old Man Logan, you'll know the origins of this twist. Towards the end of the comic it's revealed that, under the illusionary influence of Mysterio, Logan single-handedly murdered almost every member of the X-Men team. Like Xavier in Logan, Wolverine has to deal with the realization that he has murdered his family.
The moment when this is revealed is in equal measures horrifying and affecting, and it remains one of the most famous twists in comic book history. In Logan, it is revealed in dribs and drabs. If you've read Old Man Logan you could probably see it coming, but if you hadn't, it was an equally horrifying realization as the big reveal in the #comicbooks.
Xavier's death comes when he confesses his sins to who he thinks is Logan, revealing that he has finally remembered what he did. Then, with the tension ramping up, the Wolverine clone X-24 stabs him in the chest with a fury as though this is Xavier's punishment.
It's a shocking moment, but a fitting one. For how could Professor X continue to live knowing that he has destroyed everything he ever worked for? That the children that he took in and raised were killed by his own hand? This scene comes shortly after Professor X and Logan have been reminiscing about their days at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, which makes it even more pertinent. It also ties in with why Xavier is so desperate to save Laura/X-23 (Dafne Keen); perhaps, even subconsciously, he knows that she is his last chance of redemption.
Though Logan is certainly the star of the show, in many ways, Logan is also an excellent Professor X movie. Wolverine wouldn't have made it past X-Men if not for the guiding hand of Charles Xavier. At the end of it all, he is one of Xavier's children as much as the rest of the X-Men were, perhaps even more so than anyone else.
Both Logan & Xavier faced bleak ends, but they fit perfectly with the tone of Logan. Through the sacrifices of both men, Laura and the rest of the New Mutants are able to escape to safety across the border. The old generation lies down to allow the new to continue, and we can't think of a more perfect way for these two pillars of the X-Men Universe to play out their final song.
What was your favorite moment from Logan? Tell us in the comments, and check out our Logan Easter Egg breakdown below!